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  • Evan Knapp

1. What went well this year?


Music (to a certain extent). I played my first festival in Richmond, VA this year in April, played my first sold out show, put out my first EP, put out the first documentary about my career, started to learn how to play keys, and learned some fundamentals of production/mixing.


Travel. I mean, it was decent. I visited my old life in Switzerland, went to Virginia and Missouri for the first time, and spent like 2 days in Boise.


Reading. I don’t think I actually read that many books, but I’ve made it a habit to read each night before bed. Started that towards the end of the year.


Quality Time. I do think I did a good job of spending time with people I care about this year, especially when it comes to talking about things that matter rather than small talk.


Willpower. There’s always room for improvement here, but after taking last January without coffee, I decided to give myself a challenge each month of 2018 to help build habits/more willpower. I stuck with all of them pretty well and it’s something I’d like to continue with this year.


2. What didn’t go well this year?


Shows. I really didn’t play any shows this year. I played one in January at Dante’s, one in March at Mississippi Pizza, and the only other one I played was my release show at Alberta St. Pub in October, aside from a couple brewery gigs for money. The shows all had good turnouts, but I feel like this doesn’t look that good for me on paper. To be fair, a lot of that time went to recording and promoting, and it’s hard to tell which is more important sometimes. To me, shows seem like a good way to keep me relevant to people who already know who I am and what I do. But as far as reaching a new audience goes, I’m not sure that playing shows helps at all. It’s really difficult to tell.


Work. I wasted a lot of time working at restaurants that wouldn’t promote me and ended up going back to a job that I left when I was 20. It pays better, but backtracking never feels good to me. I always waste a lot of mental capacity by thinking about my jobs and how I could be doing them better rather than making music.


Moderation. When it comes to doing a lot of things for me, like writing, recording, or learning new things, I’m either doing them every day or I don’t do them at all. I don’t think it’s realistic to do everything I need to every day and still have a job and a social life, but I do think I can find a better schedule where I can be creating more.


Response Time. I need to get back to people faster. Not that I’m worse than average, but it happens all too often that I get a text from someone and won’t respond for a day or two… even though I end up texting them the exact think I would have if I responded right away.


Foresight. I haven’t been good at planning things in advance, which doesn’t come in handy when all of my friends are playing dope festivals in the summer and I’m stuck at work.


I don’t know what category to put this under, but I don’t think I did a great job with hanging out with people who inspire me this year. I think the hardest part about working in restaurants is being around people who aren’t very motivated.


3. What Am I Working Towards?


I want to be a more self-sufficient musician… at least in terms of output. I want to produce and mix my own songs. I want to make music, which is something I spend a lot of time talking about but less time doing. I want to release my next EP this year, but I want to do the release better than last time. I want to build more momentum leading up to it, I want it to be heard by more people, and I want the songs to get on Spotify playlists. 


I want to be more focused and effective. I want to spend less time floundering between tasks and more time planning and executing. 


I think it’s important to note that I do think I’m doing a pretty good job being the person I want to be, but there’s still a lot more that I want.



That’s all for now. This does feel a little half-assed, but the end of this year came up so fast that I didn’t give myself much time to think about it.

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  • Evan Knapp

It's a close call between 'Doin' It' by Herbie Hancock and 'Aaron's Party' by Aaron Carter.





... but I think I might have to give it to Aaron.

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  • Evan Knapp

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

I'm releasing my first EP soon. This is what the cover is going to look like.




My dad came to visit me in Portland for my 19th birthday. I remember sitting together in my apartment downtown, looking at the city from my 4th-floor view, and talking to each other about goals and resolutions for the new year. I told him that I wanted to release my first EP in 2015. This was in December of 2014.


Clearly I didn't quite reach that goal. It wasn't really a goal even, just something that felt good to talk about. I hadn't the slightest clue of how to go about doing it. I had nothing going for me - barely any material, no money, no studio experience, and no deadlines/set dates to hold myself to, so there was really no way it was ever going to happen, at least back then.


But I'm honestly really happy it didn't happen back then. I don't want to think about how it would have sounded or the money I would've spent or how unprepared I would've been once I actually got into a studio.


The whole thing was recorded in my apartment and Sal's town home in Aloha. Up until about March or April. I was going to hire a drummer, hit my buddy Alex Koehler's studio, and have Sal and Alex co-produce it. As I started working on some demos, I realized I was already doing a lot of the production work myself, and programming the drums myself made me realize I didn't need a drummer after all. On top of that, Sal started releasing some amazing-sounding tracks by himself, without spending thousands of dollars in a studio. Given that I have a better relationship with him than any engineer in the world, I asked him if he'd like to help produce, mix, and master it. He said he was down and that's pretty much how it happened. I challenged myself in May to record for two hours each day in my apartment, not knowing if I would finish one song or the entire project. I ended up finishing 6 songs with a few days to spare. sort of to my own astonishment. The last few months have consisted of me heading over to Sal's spot a few times each month to record vocals and produce the tracks. We just redid some vocal takes on Thursday and now the thing's ready to be mixed.


My idea for this record was to have it be a snapshot of my life from when I was 18-19, which is when all of the songs were written. It covers some of the insanity of going to and leaving Switzerland, biking to Portland from Salt Lake City, the heartbreak I was experiencing at the time, getting into dating, and the honeymoon phase of my first relationship.


I hear a lot of my heroes, in reference to their younger selves, saying, "Man, I was so green back then!" Green, to me, is inexperience seen in a positive light. It's being the new guy who doesn't know much but is attentive and willing to learn. It's that young, fresh, and optimistic, if naive, view on life. Everything at this point in my life was new and exciting, and my next release is going to cover the flip side of that - topics of jadedness (or whatever the noun of jaded is) and the end of my first relationship.


There's going to be a bonus track on the physical copy, an additional track to the 5 tunes that will be available on streaming services, and the order is also going to be different for each. The CD is going to be in biographical order to better tell my story, and for Spotify I'm going to put what I think are the most commercially accessible tunes first.


That's pretty much all I have to say for the moment. The photo for the cover was taken on Lake Lucerne from my exchange year in Switzerland, an experience without which none of this would exist.


I'm excited for you to hear what I've been working on and your continued support means the world to me! :)


Thanks so much for reading.


Talk to you soon,


Ev

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Los Angeles, CA

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